Column: Names may change but spirit lives on
Before I begin this article, I would like to introduce a tool used by historians. It is the use of the word "née." It is used to indicate the surname of a woman before she is married. An example of née would be referring to Jackie Kennedy's maiden name of Bouvier: Jackie Kennedy, née Bouvier. It can also be used when describing places that have been renamed, and with so many of Sherwood's buildings changing names over the years, I must resort to this so that we are all on the same page. So much for consistency.
The Adams family had originally lived in the Sherwood area and had a home and property, which was located in back of today's Hawks View Elementary, née Sherwood Middle School née Sherwood Union High School. The land in back of today's elementary was all Adam's land as far north as what today is Foundry Street (née Adams Street. See what I mean?)
Mabel and Hollis Adams were Yvonne Scheller, née Adams' parents, and they moved from Portland back to the ancestral stomping grounds of Sherwood towards the end of World War II. Mabel worked in the new cafeteria in the basement of the Sherwood Grade School, (née Hopkins School and the current district office). Sena Ulrich and Etta Storms worked there too. Yvonne grew up and went through Sherwood Grade School (the first through the eighth grades) and High School.
Meanwhile, Yvonne's future husband, Don Scheller, lived three blocks away with his family. His father was John "Joe" Scheller and his mother was Cora Scheller, née Young. Don's maternal grandparents were the Gotals. Harry Gotal's land backed up to the Schellers' land. They were all neighbors of German descent who came out to Oregon from Minnesota.
All during the 1930s, the Schellers and Gotals played cards on weekends which was the Depression-era pastime. In 1950, Don graduated from Sherwood High School and went into the Army, just missing Yvonne's arrival.
Yvonne and Don finally met in 1955. Yvonne was walking home from school after her senior pictures when Don first stopped his car to talk to her. Then he asked her to come over and help him wash his car!
He asked her to marry him on a Scheller family trip to Taft at the coast for the Fourth of July. Don asked Yvonne to marry him on the Taft Bridge. They were married Nov. 30, 1957. They had 4 kids: Elaine, Phil, Dawn and Allen. Don was one of the first "Merry Men" of the Robin Hood Festival. He served in the U.S. Army in Korea.
Don also was a full-time worker at the Portland Canning Company in Sherwood. He had the keys to the place and locked the door for the last time in 1973. He also went on to work at the dog food cannery in Tualatin. He loved outdoor activities and was a member of the Newberg Boat Club, the Model A Ford Clubs of America, the American Legion and St. Francis Church. He passed away Sept. 26, 2020.
I remember Don, who was a walker. He stopped me one day to tell about the airplanes of WWII and how all the kids knew every kind of plane there was. Suddenly, a B-52 came over our heads. This was in the early 2000s and vintage airplanes were always flying around.
"June," he said. "This reminds me of when the LaSalle boy (whose father owned the cannery during the war), said goodbye to Sherwood. He was in a B-52 and took the plane over Sherwood for one last look. He circled wide over the whole town in slow motion. Kids walking down Willamette Street saw the plane and started shouting and waving. He dipped right over Railroad Street and then left. We never saw him again."
Don shrugged and walked away.
Things are even more closed than ever with the spike in the COVID-19 cases in Oregon. The Sherwood Historical Society had their membership meeting in November. Dues are due and there is a call for more board members in particular.
Despite all of our problems, we continue to collect the rich history of Sherwood, Oregon. Join us on Facebook at Morback Museum or visit us online. We thank you for your interest in history and get in touch if you discover any interesting stories.
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